Being frank, adding a third seatbelt was no straightforward task. We’d already tackled drilling a hole in the roof because of the solar, and it was becoming more and more apparent we’d need to be drilling a hole in the floor. The original thoughts of ‘just bolt it to the wooden boxes, how hard can it be!’ quickly faded when we realised we really didn’t want anything bad to happen to Paddy, and any future guests. So we opted for the proper approach, used the existing fittings and drilled a hole in the floor in the van and we were good to go!
We headed to Seattle a day before Paddy arrived as we had found out they hosted a park run there, basically a free 5k community run event. We had been running a while beforehand and liked the idea of running in a semi formal event. Annie unfortunately fell ill before the event but nonetheless Mikey ran it alone, and then we headed to the Jimi Hendrix shrine / grave. We decided against taking photos out of respect but it was a pretty special place and well worth a visit if you’re in the Seattle area.
Sunday arrived and it was time to pick up Paddy. We were staying in an Airbnb in Seattle to spare him the pain of 3 in a van, but we did end up doing that a little later. After his arrival it was straight to town to visit the tourist mainstays, Pike place market where the first Starbucks lives, the gum wall and the numerous microbreweries.
Unfortunately it’s Washington (and Oregon) state law to only allow state drivers licenses as ID, so we would need our passport. This mean the had to find a pub or bar which wouldn’t require our ID’s – quite difficult in a country with such harsh punishments for underage drinkers. Where did we end up? An Irish pub of course. We did try! But ultimately fell into the trap of being Brits aboard. Nonetheless, we spent almost the entire day there, drinking good beer, playing bad pool and repeating terrible songs on the jukebox. Lesson learnt – we’d need passports if we planned on hitting the bars.
Soon after, we left Seattle heading for the coast. As it turns out, despite our best efforts, the seat in the back was less than comfortable for Paddy so we decided to try to limit our drives to under an hour or two. As we headed to the coast we decided to take a stop in Longview to break up the drive. This turned out to be an unintended hilarious wait to spend the night in Wal-Mart. We all had burgers for dinner cooked in the beautiful Walmart car park, maybe a little to close to the crazies and then headed to the only bar in town we could find – a place called Porkies. It actually turned out to be ok, only they were far too ready to serve up 11% beer….
Following Longview we headed to Canon Beach, a coastal town with similar charms to Brighton. We arrived mid afternoon and wandered down the beach to beautiful coastal views. After a pit stop in one of the local pubs, we headed back to the van to cook some food up and head to some more bars. Unfortunately we had our first Police encounter that evening. We arrived back, all ready for bed when we were told there was no sleeping within city limits. There’s no ‘No Overnight Parking’ signs up, but regardless we couldn’t argue with the city place. And so a slow, tired 20 minute drive to the closest rest stop followed, and it was around then Paddy decided it was probably time for Motel.
We headed back to Portland, with a night stop in a small town just to break up with drive. When we arrived we quickly fell in love with the city however. Seattle had nothing on Portland in the way of microbreweries, on every corner there’s a bar with 30-50 beers on tap. We were pretty much in love straight away.
Combine that with the sheer awesomeness and strangeness of the people living there and it was easy to why people would want to stay. We fell upon the Saturday market which was full of eccentric arts and crafts. After that we headed to a comedy club and saw some absolutely brilliant stand up, all to the tune of only $9 each. After which, we wondered around an array of breweries.
Quickly though, the week had passed and it was time for Paddy to head home. It had absolutely flown by, and we’d loved our time in Portland – at the time not knowing that we’d be back very soon.
Until then, was a pleasure having you Pads x